Robert Gerhardt is a social documentary photographer based in New York City, and in his photography series Hong Kong Days/Hong Kong Nights he records the two sides of the city.

Gerhardt is particularly keen on snapping, with empathy, the moods of his subjects, using photography as a way of exploring the rich inner worlds of his subjects.

Women and Child Walking in the Rain, Kowloon. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

In these scenes of Hong Kong, the photographer finds creative expression capturing the moment as it unfolds in front of the viewer.

Subway Riders During Rush Hour on the Subway, Hong Kong Island. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

Gerhardt contrasts Hong Kong’s lively daytime commuter scenes with brooding moments of the night, where life can take its more muted, perhaps even unsettling notes.

Police on Night Foot Patrol, Wan Chai. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Lovers at Night, Wan Chai. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

Gerhardt aims to depict the complexity of life through his lens and enjoys finding space to depict haunting and arresting scenes.

Cab Driver Sleeping in his Car, Hong Kong Island. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Texting on a Street Corner at Night, Hong Kong Island. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

In these snapshots of Hong Kong’s urban experience we see subjects with their minds drifting elsewhere as they go about their days and nights in this restless city of contrasts.

Waiting for a Bus Home, Admiralty. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Crossing a Busy Intersection at Lunch Time, Central. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Eating Lunch in a Noodle Shop, Causeway Bay. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

Gerhardt draws influence from the street photography of Harold Feinstein, who is known to be one of the world’s greatest recorders of the American experience, and who captured lively scenes with an eye for the diversity of the human experience.

Smoke Break on a Busy Sidewalk, Central. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Shoppers at a Vegetable Market, Sham Shui Po. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Used Tool Shop at a Market, Sham Shui Po. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.

Gerhardt’s own vision takes in the complex and unforgettable experience of life in Hong Kong.

“A bar owner in Wan Chai told me that it gets in your blood: ‘you stay a couple weeks, and you never leave.’ And he is right. In its own way, when you spend any amount of time there, Hong Kong does get into your blood,” Gerhardt writes.

Gerhardt’s work can be found on his website www.robertgerhardt.com.

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